Basilar tip thromboembolism

Case contributed by Frank Gaillard


Sudden onset of loss of consciousness

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

The tip of the basilar artery is markedly hyperdense and there appears to be low density involving the central midbrain and right cerebral peduncle. 


CT angiogram confirms the presence of a filling defect at the tip of the basilar artery. The left superior cerebellar and both posterior cerebral arteries are opacified with contrast. The right superior cerebellar artery is occluded. 

Case Discussion

Typical appearances of a basilar tip thromboembolism. Despite endovascular thrombolysis and attempted clot retrieval (which was moderately angiographically effective (not shown)), the patient did not recover consciousness and developed extensive infarction, and eventually passed away. 

Note: Top of basilar occlusion is usually embolic, whereas mid-basilar occlusion is usually the result of in situ thrombosis as a result of atherosclerotic plaque complication. 

How to use cases

You can use Radiopaedia cases in a variety of ways to help you learn and teach.

Creating your own cases is easy.

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.